Sunday, 17 July 2016

To the Tatsfield churchyard – the slow way (part two)

It was another fine morning. No direct sunshine as such, but it was warm. Very warm. Tee-shirt weather. I sat in the house, on the computer, writing a review of Tiffins, a teashop in Petworth, West Sussex – click here for more – and also for Trip Advisor. When I looked at the clock it was almost 0700hrs and I knew that Phil would be outside and raring to go so I switched off the computer, ran into the kitchen, made the tea, put on a pair of trainers and managed to be on the doorstep – actually in the garage unlocking the bike – at 0706hrs. Not bad going.

Yesterday, Phil and Steve had cycled a good 50km (he'd returned home around 11am) while as regular readers will know already, Andy and I headed for the Tatsfield churchyard where we stuffed our faces with biscuits before remounting our bikes and heading home.

Beddlestead Lane – it looks harmless, but it's one long uphill struggle...
When we reached the green we waited for Andy, pretending, when he arrived, that we'd been sitting there for ages. Then we decided that another visit to the Tatsfield churchyard would be good as there's nothing better on a hot day than an English churchyard. We also decided to go the slow way so that we could chat a little and not have to worry too much about cars on the 269, although there was plenty of loose gravel in the road, especially at the bottom of Hesiers Hill. "Gravel!" I shouted, and we all managed to stay on our bikes and continue up Beddlestead Lane, the long, inclining Beddlestead Lane that never seems to end.

Phil had bought himself a small saddle bag that amazingly managed to contain a large china cup and a puncture repair kit; he'd also been given, by Steve, a Garmin mileage monitor.

At the churchyard we discussed many things, even that philosophical argument about nothing really existing and how we all saw reality differently. We moved on to discuss how everything we see before us is made up as we go along so that, for example, nobody else exists except for us and we make up, create, our own reality as we move along. I started to mention a book by Philip K Dick, UBIK, and a character called Jory Miller and I think at that point Phil got a little bored. Perhaps rightly so.

We all loved the Englishness of the Tatsfield churchyard, we all loved its peace and tranquility and we all agreed that it was very the best place to be on a day like today – warm, hazy sunshine and a very slight breeze every now and then. The perfect setting.

The conversation turned towards how we could all sit there for most of the day doing nothing and this in turn morphed into a conversation about the traditional Bavarian breakfast of white sausage with sweet mustard washed down with a chilled German beer. This came about because we were discussing what would make a stay at the churchyard a little more appealing – what would keep us there for hours on end. In fact, it started by discussing down-and-outs and their penchant for churchyards. We talked about drinking cans of Special Brew, crushing them after use and generally making a mess of the place and how such behaviour would certainly be frowned upon by those in charge of the churchyard. I said we could move to an adjoining field, if things got nasty, and sling our used cans over our shoulders and into the churchyard – and this led towards the conversation about the Bavarian breakfast.

It was then decided that after Phil's wedding – and when he returns from his honeymoon – we would enjoy a Bavarian breakfast of our own making at the Tatsfield churchyard – weather permitting. Phil would make the sausage sandwiches and Andy and I would provide chilled beer (we opted for Stella, but we could always buy a German beer, there are plenty of different brands available). The idea, however, was Phil's sausage sandwiches washed down by two cans of Stella each. Here's hoping for continued good weather, in the sense of no rain or cold temperatures, when we eventually pick the day for the mad, early morning Bavarian breakfast.

We walked our bikes down the steps to the roadside laughing about the idea of the Bavarian breakfast caper – something that would now definitely be happening. Secretly, I think we're all looking forward to it.

Sunday was Phil's last ride this side of his forthcoming marriage on 29th July – NoVisibleLycra will be represented in the shape of Andy and yours truly.

The Sunday weather continued to be unbelievable – and, like yesterday, would remain so. In fact it improved and the sun came out. The rest of my day was fairly lazy. I cleaned up a tent in the back garden and let it dry in the sun before stuffing it back into its bag. I visited mum's for tea and cake. We all sat in mum's garden, which was in full bloom, and talked about this and that.

Dinner later was chicken risotto followed by an early evening lounging around in the garden as the sun went down. There was a full moon that later illuminated the entire garden like a spotlight. I talked about how we should camp out in the garden, but I think I'm alone on that one.

I went to bed early, opening the rear and front windows to let in some fresh summer air. I started to nod off but had to go downstairs to lock things up. This act, however, led to me watching Long Way Down, a movie starring Pierce Brosnan and Sam Neill, all about four people who, I think, make a suicide pact. It was a comedy, oddly, and I had to stick with it to the end, eventually retiring to bed around 11.30pm.

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